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2900 XT question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
August 3, 2007 3:48:52 PM

I'm looking to buy a video card that will last me a year until a buy a completely to rig for college in the summer of 08.

I considering buying the 2900XT or the 8800 GTS 640.

Currently I'm leaning towards the 8800 GTS 640 because it sounds more stable and consumes less power.

Though with the 2900XT I hear the performance increases every patch and some say it fully supports DX10.1. Is this true?

I know the 8800 won't support but if the 2900XT did I would buy that instead. I'll be giving this one to my younger brother once I get a new rig which is why I'd rather get a higher end card that will last longer.

More about : 2900 question

August 3, 2007 4:10:20 PM

well dont let power be an issue. heat isint an issue, because it all put out the back anyway. i would say that if you have the psu, go for the 2900xt.
August 3, 2007 4:20:07 PM

I have a low end 500 watt PSU. People say I could support 8800 GTS on it though I don't want to take any chances so I probably would buy a new powersupply. Get one that would suit my needs for my next rig to either a 700 watt or 750 one I would guess. More room for expansion. So power really doesn't matter to me. I'm just focusing on whether or not the 2900 XT can support dx10.1 properly. Even using more of its features would do.

If not I probably would wait for the mid range G92 coming in November or the 2900 Pro (Does this one use the 80nm design or 65nm one?).
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August 3, 2007 4:24:37 PM

well dont expect any card right now to be able to do dx10. they just dont have the power. if you are going to buy a new psu, the get the 2900xt. its beating the 640 in most areas now, and should only get better. neither card is good for dx10 though. and make sure to get the best psu you can. with the way the cards are going, your going to need it.
August 3, 2007 4:36:38 PM

I would say go with GTS 320mb if you're only going to use this card for 9 months, especially if you're not playing on a huge monitor.

August 3, 2007 4:39:09 PM

Ok thanks. One more question.

I have a nforce 4 sli asus motherboard it will support the 2900XT right? I know I can't do crossfire but I should at least be able to do a single card with the PCIE x16 slot right?

As far as I know the next gen dx10 cards will only be DX10 not DX9 compatible with Windows XP right?
August 3, 2007 4:45:01 PM

I would pick the hd 2900xt.
August 3, 2007 4:50:35 PM

San Pedro does make a good point. if you buy the 320, youll save some money, and be able to put it towards your new build. the 2900 is better than the 320, but the 320 is cheaper.
August 3, 2007 4:55:49 PM

I have a 19 inch monitor and playing at 1280x1024 in most games. Though in probably 4-6 months I'm going to pick up a 22 inch or a 24 inch monitor. I don't really mind if I spend extra money. We're talking a year here. I probably would end up spending the extra money on something other then computer hardware.
August 3, 2007 5:33:34 PM

ok, well if you have the money to burn.
get the 2900xt with a side of i hate you. with a monitor, it may very well be worth the 2900xt. just make sure you actually use the power you have to kill you, lucky bastard.
August 3, 2007 5:58:01 PM

cristip60 said:
I would pick the hd 2900xt.

I would choose the 2900 XT as well. It supports DX10.1, whereas the 8800 GTS does not. Even more, and I say this while having a 8800GTS in my machine, the 2900 XT will cause fewer driver problems than a 8800 if you have an AMD cpu. Nvidia outlines in its release notes that the 8800 series has problems with the AMD K7 and K8 chips which can cause periodic crashes. The 2900 XT does not have those problems.
August 3, 2007 5:59:02 PM

I'd say that both cards are pretty equal; I'd say get the cheapest of the two, or flip a coin if you can't decide yourself.
August 3, 2007 6:08:16 PM

what games are you hoping to play? id just save a little more and get a 8800gtx, or just wait for sum dx10 games to come out and buy then.
a c 169 U Graphics card
August 3, 2007 6:11:31 PM

As Heyyou27 said , both are neck and neck in many games , so both will be good
August 3, 2007 6:11:37 PM

Why are you worried about DX10.1?? Especially if you're looking to upgrade? There's got to be a tiny tiny tiny TINY percentage of any type of gain (frames/enjoyment/playability) that you're going to be seeing from something that supports DX10.1 over DX10.

Personally, I wouldn't even take that into consideration.

Saying that the 2900xt would cause fewer driver problems if you had EITHER CPU is retarded. There was an article on Toms that proved that completely bogus: er/


The benchmarks consistently show inconsistency between graphics and chipset performance, so brand matching of graphics cards to chipsets doesn't seem to matter at all. If you're not concerned about SLI or Crossfire, your card selection is as simple as picking the best card available for the money, while you can rest easy in the knowledge that mixing these imparts no performance penalty. This is great news for anyone who upgrades one part at a time.

That's just something a fanboy would say to try to get under your skin for picking something that's not ATI. Also.. the 2900xt is NOT beating the 8800GTS 640 in most areas... again unless your a fanboy.

The real question you should ask yourself is:
Do you want to use any type of graphic enhancements while you play (AA/AF)? If so, the only answer (for the range you're considering) is the 8800. Whether you get the 640 or the 320, when you factor in AA/AF, the 2900xt is crap.
August 3, 2007 6:47:33 PM

From what I hear, Catalyst 7.8 has improved antialiasing and anisotropic filtering greatly.
August 3, 2007 7:01:06 PM

Phrozt said:

That's just something a fanboy would say to try to get under your skin for picking something that's not ATI. Also.. the 2900xt is NOT beating the 8800GTS 640 in most areas... again unless your a fanboy.

I always find it amusing when someone calls me an ATI fanboy when I own a 8800 GTS 640. The way I see it, I don't care whether a card is made by Nvidia or ATI. I care about its performance and price.

And like Heyyou27 says, the drivers for the 2900 XT are getting ever better and its performance is improving.
August 3, 2007 7:13:29 PM

Where are the catalyst 7.8 drivers as Heyyou27 said????
August 3, 2007 7:25:34 PM

Dirty_Harry2 said:
Where are the catalyst 7.8 drivers as Heyyou27 said????

ATI has released Catalyst 7.7 drivers and a 7.8 beta driver. The finished 7.8 driver is not expected until Sept, the last I read. Use Google or some other search engine for the 7.8 beta drivers and you should find them.
August 3, 2007 7:40:50 PM

"the 2900xt is crap. "

Wow!! sense some hate. So take it your a fanboy of the 8800's lol.

I just have one question, do you have any hard data to back that up? or did you just wake up one day and decide ATI's crap?

If you weren't blind sided, you'd see that 2900xt out performs the 8800gts 640 in every review and magizine; not to mention I own one and it has held out very good against my friends 8800gtx in 3dmark. Does that make the 8800 gts crap, hell no still an awesome card; but if you want the best bang for your buck, the 2900xt is the way to go. Does that mean Nvidia's crap? Hell no I love them to death and they make some awesome cards! 8800 gtx will rock any 2900xt but some of us don't want to spend 600 bucks for top of the line graphics; which is over kill in 70 percent of games. Keep in mind just because Nvidia has dominated the market doesn't mean ATI still can't make a kick *** card.
August 3, 2007 7:49:03 PM

Well like I said I want to give this card to my younger brother once I upgrade probably sometime next summer. He'll probably get a new computer around that time too. Hes only 15 so he doesn't have a lot of money to throw around.

The games I play right now are:
Everquest II
Guild Wars
And some steam games on the side

I'm planning on getting:
Quake Wars once it comes out

I can't do DX10 yet still on XP. If the games for DX10 are really as good as I hear I may go out and get Vista to play them in the coming months all depends.

I have a 7900 GT right now and I just started using the AA and AF options on it. It lags in most of those games. Especially PS its a total resource hog for being 4 years old :( .
August 3, 2007 8:29:38 PM

banzai, for what you play, unless you play at high resolutions, get a 8800gts 320. Especially if you PLAN on upgrading. I don't think there's anyone here that would argue that the architecture for DX10 is in it's very early stages across all cards, and vast improvements are expected w/in the future.

The 8800GTS will treat you good, and give you more in your pocket for the future.
August 3, 2007 8:47:01 PM

lankiller said:
"the 2900xt is crap. "

Wow!! sense some hate. So take it your a fanboy of the 8800's lol.

No, but at the moment, the 8800s are on top by a fair amount.

lankiller said:
I just have one question, do you have any hard data to back that up? or did you just wake up one day and decide ATI's crap? If you weren't blind sided, you'd see that 2900xt out performs the 8800gts 640 in every review and magizine;

No, there are tons of reviews that I will post at the end of this response that prove otherwise

lankiller said:
not to mention I own one

let me be the first to say what a HUGE surprise that is.

lankiller said:
but if you want the best bang for your buck, the 2900xt is the way to go.

Actually, it's not. It costs more than the 8800GTS, and it gets outperformed by the 8800GTS in a fair amount of games. The reason I say that the 2900xt is crap is because it's a high priced card that can't even do what lower price cards have been able to for half a year now. If I spend around ~$400 on a GFX card, it better perform pretty damn well... WITH AA/AF. It's a joke to spend a large amount of money on a card that cannot do what an expensive card should be able to do.

Here are reviews that show the 8800GTS640 being better than the 2900xt: ge6.html

Here's one that just came out wednesday... still lagging behind the 8800GTS640:

The re are a lot more out there.. and whenever you look at a review, make sure to take stock of AA/AF use. When a game uses AA/AF, chances are, the 8800GTS640 (and even the GTS320) will beat out the 2900XT.

It's like buying a sports car that has a restrictor plate to cut out at 60 MPH.

EDIT: these new boards are retarded and mess up the links...
August 3, 2007 8:50:34 PM

Yeah I'm still leaning towards the 8800 GTS. Probably the 640 just to help future proof it since the future DX10 games will be using more textures then the 320 maybe able to handle.

I have never had a ATI card before and I kinda wanted to try one out. I heard that AMD is releasing a quad cross fire board. That would be insane. Once the prices on those dropped enough and if I had a good enough PSU for of those would last me awhile now lol.
August 3, 2007 11:20:18 PM

Are you a fan of Saving Private Ryan? Perhaps you remember the line, "Careful not to step in the ********?" In all honesty, you will never hear a truly unbiased argument as to which card is better, everyone has his/her favorite company, and they are very adamant about which is better. Let me give you some insight, as I had the same decision as you a couple of weeks ago. I ended up choosing the 8800 GTS 640MB. Now the card itself is a great card, runs nicely, runs coolly, and can be overlcocked easily to much higher speeds, I run it at 625 core and 900 memory without even entering the yellow areas of danger. I also, having owned ONLY ATI until this card that being for 3 different cards, prefer NVIDIA's control panel much more than CCC for ATI, as I think the NVIDIA control panel is just designed better and offers more. As to how it performs? It performs great, except not amazingly well in Company of Heroes compared to my old 1950 XT, though I am starting to think that is a CPU issue and I plan to try overclocking as most strategy games are very CPU dependent. The image quality is great and so are the frame rates. The truth is that some companies just run some games better than than others.

However, it seems to me that if you look at some previews of ATI's 7.8 drivers, that their drivers are ready to go pretty far and it might end up being better than the GTS pretty much overall. By how much, idk. Does this mean the GTS is a bad performer? Hardly. Do I think that the 2900 will eventually be better overall? Yes, I do, and it makes me slightly regret my purchase. But as of right now, they are a toss up, and either one will do darn well. However, I recommend the GTS for you. You have an nForce mobo, which I don't and I wish I did, so you get some advantages such as tuning your whole system as one. Also, post your PSU specs and brand, cause I have a 500 watt Ultra and I can run the GTS overclocked with no problems at all. You might be able to save yourself some money, cause while I think you could prob run the GTS on your current PSU, you prob wouldn't be able to run the XT, or at least overclock it.

Lastly, and this is the most most important fact. If you are simply going to upgrade next summer, it doesn't really matter. The general consensus right now seems to be that the second generations of DX10 cards will be much more powerful anyway. Taking that into effect, buy the cheapest for now, save yourself some money and then spend it on a second generation card later. You won't miss out on much as DX10 prob won't be into full swing until the beginning to middle of next year anyway.
August 4, 2007 1:07:51 AM


I'm just going to laugh at you because the point just went waaaaayyyy over your head. YOU STILL DONT GET THE POINT!!! It has nothing to do with performance of the cards! point is A) shouldn't call anything crap without data B) grow up hacking my post apart like you know me jeesh.

1st site was not found
2nd site didnt even list stats or scores or rez =/ sorta disapointing
3rd sites not found hmmm interesting
and the last one doesnt even have anything to do with ATI, it was about direct x 10 and direct x 9 wtf lol
Also all your links are from one site, I bet you were one of those people who took all your cash outta the bank for y2k huh?

Also heres a real site with stats for both cards in fear with AA and AF
it is very close but can see the ATI card has better stats.

August 4, 2007 1:38:12 AM

I was expecting to see the arguments. I've seen in it other threads where I've asked questions.

The only way I was going to get the 2900 XT was if it fully supported DX10.1 since the 8800 GTS doesn't. Never really got that questioned answered tbh I think. If someone said otherwise sorry if I missed it.

This is my current power supply I know it can not run a 2900 XT but possibly a 8800 GTS. It is such a shame there isn't a better high end mid range card. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2007 2:14:24 AM

I had a mid range 550W power supply. My comp (after I got the 2900XT) would hang up and restart sometimes (rarely, but it was still annoying). I figured it was the power supply, but I didn't have $150-$200 to put into a new PSU, so I bought a 250W graphics power supply (w/ active PFC and all the goodies). Here's the link off newegg:

Nice and cheap, but works great. My comp works much better now, no big voltage drops like before. So, if you get an 8800 or a 2900 and your current PS is not enough, this is a cheap alternative (and it looks really cool too).
August 4, 2007 2:44:08 AM

Wow thanks thats a perfect solution for now :D .
August 4, 2007 2:52:22 AM

What do you all think get the 8800 GTS own its own and if my PSU isn't good enough I can get the other graphic PSU to power it or get the 2900XT and this graphic PSU?
August 4, 2007 3:40:28 AM

If your PSU can't power the HD 2900XT, it's just barely going to cut it for the 8800GTS. I'd actually rather own an HD 2900XT than the 8800GTS as it has HDMI support among other features the 8800GTS lacks.
August 4, 2007 4:10:58 AM

I'd say the 8800GTS is better than the 2900XT, but I think you should wait until the 9 series come...but thats cause at the moment I'm a nvidia fanboy since all I ever get from their cards are stable satisfactory performance.

For those of you who read HardOCP's article on the 2900XT and 2600XT, I get the feeling they are totally against ATI/AMD. Anyone agrees?
August 4, 2007 4:41:39 AM

I totally agree with you about HardOCP. I don't know what their problem is, but I get the feeling they are on the NVIDIA payroll. Extremely harsh all around.

Just looked at your PSU. That should be enough for the GTS, easily I think. You have the same number of amps on the 12 volt rail and the same total wattage as I do and I have no problem at all with the GTS. People tend to really exaggerate the power requirements. Oh, btw, as for the 2900 taking a ton of power, it's not totally true. AMD came out and made a statement about how they had over-exaggerated the power requirements. People have been getting by fine on like 450 watt PSUs, if they are a decent brand. Of course, you won't be able to overclock. I would worry about the PSU later, try it at first, if it doesn't work or has problems then replace it or get the graphics PSU. If you want overclocking on the 2900 you will need a PSU with a 8-pin connector, quite hard to find. That is if you overclock using ATI's overdrive utility.
August 4, 2007 5:00:49 AM

Phrozt I have the card myself and while the benchmarks you have are true you need to understand that they used 7.6 or an earlier driver, 7.7 resolved all the AA issues I had. I actually couldn't play the demo of Lost Planet before Catylest 7.7, now with the new driver I can play with a min of 32FPS with settings cracked up. All on a stock E6600 and 3GB of ram.

While the card at one point was crap, not going to deny it, it has greatly improved with new drivers, much more so with catalyst 7.7 in regards to performance with several games as well as AA/AF. Ever since 7.7 I have had nothing but a positive experience with the card, before 7.7 I has a miserable time with a few games.

I'm sorry if you disagree with me, but this is my first hand experience with the card. As far as I'm concerned all you have done is read outdated material and based your opinion upon it.
August 4, 2007 6:00:42 AM

I skipped quite a few posts...sorry if it's already been said..

But Banzai..regarding the g92..There won't be a midrange at launch. The high end card will be release first to give the enthusiasts time to play with their brand new toy. Then serveral months later the mid range will be released...somtime between q1 and q2 2008.

I've put m new rig off till years end. planning to get a x38 with a q6600 g0 stepping or a penryn depending on what's going to be launched (if it's just the extreme processor gonna nab a q6600 for temporary)..a g92 card and I should be good to go ^_^..
a c 172 U Graphics card
August 4, 2007 7:07:01 AM

Seeing as some people can't figure out how to use toms (really crappy) forum software, heres a tip on how to make links work. Highlight and copy everything that didn't make in the link and copy it in. Lets review these links.

Link one uses Cat 7.7 drivers, so its safe to look at. Does the GTS beat the 2900XT with AA/AF enabled? The first game up is doom3, the AA/AF results are on the bottom. At 1024x768 the GTS kills the XT. (161 vs 138) As soon as you bump the resolution up to ANYTHING higher then that however, the XT wins EVERY benchmark. At the common res of 1600x1200, the XT wins. (109 vs 88.) I would argue this is a win for the XT. The next game is FEAR. At the lower resolutions, its more or less a tie. The GTS does score a few extra FPS at 1024x768, but 6FPS when your both already over 110FPS is more a less a wash. (percentage wise it isn't much.) At higher resolutions its still closer to a tie, although you could argue another win for the XT as it manages nearly twice as many FPS as the GTS at 2560x1600. (32FPS instead of the GTS's 17.) The last game is Oblivion. (they only show inside and outside, I have no idea if AA/AF is enabled or not.) Outdoors, the XT beats the GTS at every res. It gets closer the higher you go, but the GTS never equals the XT. Inside, the GTS is faster, but again not by much. (at 1600x1200 the GTS has 129FPS while the XT is at 128.) Once you hit the 2560x1600 mark, the XT is faster again. (73 vs 61.) I don't know about you, but thanks for supplying the link showing the XT beating the GTS.

Link number two uses Cat 7.5, which has already been pointed out as being slow. You really need 7.7 or the new 7.8s.

There are to many games reviewed in link number 3. A quote from the conclusion might state it best.
The ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT was surprisingly competitive, considering how it has performed in the past, but it was still not powerful enough to challenge the less expensive MSI video card.

The XT powerful enough to keep up with the 640MB GTS, but the cheaper overclocked card can beat it. (I wonder if an overclocked XT can keep up with the OC'd GTS?)

I'm sorry sir, but I don't believe what you wrote. If anything, your links have shown me that with the 7.7 drivers, the XT can either keep up with, or do better then, the GTS. If anything (and this has already been suggested) you should get the 320MB GTS. Cheaper then either card, and when overclocked, more powerful. Now can anyone answer the question of 10.1 support? (Actually, I'm a little behind, is 10.1 something new like moving to DX11, or more like an upgrade similar to moving from DX9b to DX9c?)
August 4, 2007 11:11:40 AM

Phrozt is surprisingly biased, but its nothing new - all brands have their fans ;)  Personaly I have 8800GTS but I really concider changing to 2900XT, new drivers revisions makes card look more attractive. Heck, if we would compare Crossfire and SLI in Vista, ATI already have more mature drivers than nVidia, its mind boggling since nVidia had more than half a year of extra time for it.

7.8 solves some issues with AA as well, if users claim speed increase from 5fps in Oblivion to ~30fps at high AA, its worth to take a look.
August 4, 2007 11:56:20 AM

Kamrooz said:
But Banzai..regarding the g92..There won't be a midrange at launch. The high end card will be release first to give the enthusiasts time to play with their brand new toy. Then serveral months later the mid range will be released...somtime between q1 and q2 2008.

I heard there was a new midrange card coming out in the 8 series in September or November. It would be based on the G92 core but have 512 vram and 256 memory bus. This is to fill in the spot between 8600 and 8800. Probably be the 8700 GT/GTS. It makes sense due to ATI bringing out an 2900 Pro in the coming months. I would rather get one of those cards but I don't want to wait until then really.
a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2007 1:16:33 PM

With the 2900XT in Oblivion, the 7.8 Betas improved my framerate outdoors about 5 FPS. Now, at 1280x1024, 2x Narrow tent AA (4x), 8x AF, quality adaptive AA, vsync, all ingame setting max and many high graphics visual mods (like new longrange scenery), I get about 20-40 FPS outside (the 20 is where there is tons of grass, for some reason this card hates grass, but is fine with trees). Inside the card is limited by my monitor and the vsync, so it is stuck at a constant 60 FPS.

I also have all of the water reflections and mods turned on. I only mention this because, like the 8800, the 2900 loves water. It renders it effortlessly (unlike my 6800s which could hardly render it at all) and it looks amazing.